Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 5)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"Not always cohesive, but the stylish rendering of the Russian culture, which both attracts and appalls the author, will keep the reader captivated."
Everything you know about Russia is wrong, according to this eye-opening, mind-bending memoir of a TV producer caught between two cultures. Read full book review >
NO MAN'S LAND by Elizabeth D. Samet
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"Both the incisiveness and the perspective—of a civilian professor and the military students she loves and mourns—enrich readers' appreciation for the psychological complexities of war and its aftermath."
A singular mix of literary criticism and memoir from a West Point English professor who helps plebes mold the mindset that prepares future officers for war. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"Historical prognostication has a dismal record, but readers will find it difficult to put down this fascinating addition to the 'rise and fall of nations' genre."
Geopolitics, the influence of geography on nations, made the United States great and will keep it there, writes the author of this ingenious, optimistic overview of America's superpower status. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"This remarkable memoir serves as a moving examination of the complex forces of ethnicity, nationality and history that shape one's sense of self and foster, threaten or fray the fragile tapestry of community."
A young Armenian-American journalist examines her identity and personal history. Read full book review >
TOO BIG TO JAIL by Brandon L. Garrett
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 1, 2014

"Garrett combines groundbreaking research with clear writing and moral outrage."
Garrett (Law/Univ. of Virginia; Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong, 2011, etc.) presents research on criminal behavior by corporations in the United States and overseas. Read full book review >

SECTION 60 by Robert M. Poole
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"A momentous and moving follow-up to On Hallowed Ground."
An honorable survey of Arlington National Cemetery's subdivision for military personnel killed in the global war on terror. Read full book review >
JUST MERCY by Bryan Stevenson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Emotionally profound, necessary reading."
A distinguished NYU law professor and MacArthur grant recipient offers the compelling story of the legal practice he founded to protect the rights of people on the margins of American society. Read full book review >
NATIONAL INSECURITY by David Rothkopf
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 18, 2014

"A sharp, immensely readable account of how we've arrived at this juncture and where matters stand as we anticipate the election of a new president."
A distinguished journalist and scholar looks at the shaping of America's national security and foreign policy for the past decade. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 7, 2014

"An electrifying, empathetic work of journalism that makes a four-year-old story feel fresh."
The mind-boggling story of 33 Chilean miners trapped 2,000 feet underground for 10 weeks. Read full book review >
PUTIN'S KLEPTOCRACY by Karen Dawisha
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"The light of Dawisha's research penetrates a deep moral darkness, revealing something ugly—and dangerous."
A damning account of Vladimir Putin's rise to power and of the vast dimensions of the corruption—political and economic—that both reigns and rots in Russia. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"Comprehensive research underlies this compelling, highly emotional and profoundly important story."
A novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter explores with nearly Javert-ian persistence one of the early cases of traffic fatalities caused by texting while driving.
Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"An urgent report on the state of American aspirations and a haunting dispatch from forsaken streets."
Ambitious, moving tale of an inner-city Newark kid who made it to Yale yet succumbed to old demons and economic realities. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >